After spending time training together in Thailand about four years ago, the lightweight were paired up to see who would take the next step forward in the fight, which took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. .
He was competitive until the end, when Fiziev (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) resulted in a smooth wheeling that rocked Riddell (10-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and led to the TKO. at 2:20 mark of round 3.
Check out the highlight of the arrival below (via Twitter):
The first round went as planned. Fiziev and Riddell stood across from each other and delivered tactical strikes. They exchanged punches and kicks, but the familiarity between the two was clear as they both avoided big punches. Fiziev was on point with his counters, scoring Riddell on his exits.
It was more or less the same in the second round, because everything was striking from start to finish. Fiziev landed a nasty elbow early in the round that opened up a gnarly cut around Riddell’s left eye. Riddell maintained his focus and increased the output in response, but Fiziev controlled the pace of the fight and remained consistent with his attack.
The cage doctor closely examined Riddell’s eye between rounds and threatened to stop it if it got worse.
Riddell was clearly aware of this danger, as he shot for an out early in the third round. He briefly brought Fiziev to the ground, but Fiziev stood up and it was immediately the striking exchanges. The fight was unfolding when Fiziev landed the 13th wheel kick in UFC history.
“I love him – I learn from him,” Fiziev said of Riddell in his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. “I’m waiting (this strike) – I’m waiting for three rounds. I don’t turn around because I know when he goes that way his hands go down and he forgets the kicking back.
Ridell was stopped by strikes for the first time in MMA competition with loss, while Fiziev has now had five consecutive wins, which is good for the fourth longest active winning streak at 155 pounds behind Charles Oliveira (nine) , Islam Makhachev (nine) and Beneil Dariush (seven).
UFC results on ESPN 31 up to date include:
Rafael Fiziev beat. Brad Riddell via TKO (wheel kick) – Round 3, 2:20 Jamahal Hill defeated. Jimmy Crute by KO (punches) – Round 1, 0:48 Clay Guida defeated. Leonardo Santos via submission (bare rear choke) – Round 2, 1:21 Chris Curtis defeated. Brendan Allen via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:58 Alex Morono defeated. Mickey Gall by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Dusko Todorovic defeats. Maki Pitolo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:34 Manel Kape defeated. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:02 Bryan Barberena defeated. Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Cheyanne Vlismas defeated. Mallory Martin via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) William Knight defeated. Alonzo Menifield by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Claudio Puelles defeats. Chris Gruetzemacher via submission (knee pad) – Round 3, 3:25 Vince Morales defeated. Louis Smolka by KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:02